Bridgewater's Music Hall

Bridgewater's Music Hall opened in 1893 and instantly became the destination for entertainment. Beloved as it was, the Music Hall had a short life, as the Great Fire of Bridgewater destroyed it and much of King Street on January 12th, 1899.

In 1890, Bridgewater announced a company was to build a music hall. Land was purchased, and the building commenced. E. D. Davison commented, "men are framing the Music Hall, which gives employment to carpenters for the winter. Hope the investment will be a good un [one] but I have my doubts."

In the 1893 Bulletin: Christmas Edition, the Music Hall's stage and settings were said to "do justice to the pretensions of much large towns." The Hall seated 600 people, had electrical lights, was heated by furnace, and cost $12,000 to build.

The Music Hall was immediately used for many community activities such as concerts, political meetings, lectures, and travelling shows. A front portion of the theatre was used by merchants including Thomas Simonson, dry goods dealer. The Music Hall also hosted operas. As Stewart Leary reminisced: 

The opera given at the opening was the comic opera LaMascott. The American press was visiting Bridgewater at the time and was being entertained and felt by the public-spirited citizens of the town and it was really for their diversion that the opera company was brought to the town. The prima donna – I think her name was Lane – had a fairly good voice although she was no Patti or Melba. She won great applause in singing the Last Rose of Summer.

In 1898, the well-known Isham's Octoroons, an early burlesque show, performed in the venue. The following year, the local paper reported that the eminent German violinist, Herr Bruno Siebelts, performed with an accompanying pianist and soprano. On January 12, 1899, at 3:30 a.m., the Great Fire of Bridgewater started in the basement of the Music Hall where Simonson's dry goods store was located, razing Bridgewater's King Street and the beloved Music Hall.



The former location of the Music Hall